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  • Arts Council of Fort Worth

Fort Worth City Council, District 2

Updated: Apr 7

The Arts Council offered candidates an opportunity to respond to a set of questions about the issues important to the arts community and how the candidates would address these issues if elected. These questions and the candidates' answers will allow you compare candidates in the Fort Worth City Council Elections and help us continue to advocate for the arts with our City leaders. These answers are unedited, save for formatting issues.


List of Candidates

Carlos Flores

Theodore Gray

Jennifer Sarduy

Juan Sixtos


Carlos Flores

In a few short sentences, tell us about yourself and your relationship to the visual and/or performing arts.

Fort Worth native and 3rd generation Texan, born and raised in the City’s Northside. Aerospace Engineer. Husband and father to two young children. Elected in 2017 to FW City Council, I’m a full-time council member for District 2. I was a former board member for Artes de la Rosa; fmr. Member of Trinity River Bridge Artist Selection Committee; Co-Chair of the Kimbell Art Museum’s Nuestro Kimbell; Chair of Diamond Hill Community Center Artist Core Team; Chair of Rockwood Golf Course Artist Core Team; Chair Trail Drivers Park Artist Core Team; Sponsor/supporter of several community arts projects and local performing arts companies. Years ago, I performed as an extra in the Texas Ballet and former super-luminary for the Fort Worth Opera.


How would you work to increase the City’s investment in the arts industry to meet growing needs and bring our funding in line with other major cities in Texas?

Most large cities are seeing a decrease in funding to the arts. COVID-19 restrictions not only affected our personal lives, but our businesses. Many folks lost their jobs or had their hours reduced. The City’s Public Events Department, was severely impacted because all public events were cancelled. Post COVID-19, City leadership will have challenges to prioritize city services and balance those needs with other commitments. I support public art and will seek ways to increase arts funding by seeking public-private partnerships; and network to assist our arts community to increase their fundraising efforts.


Please share your thoughts on how the arts can help our City lift up diverse voices, close opportunity gaps, and how can Fort Worth’s mayor help this grow?

Art expresses itself in many forms and medians. By its very nature, diversity is its expression and expressive in diversity. The City uses equity-based metrics for employment and deliver of public services. Similarly, providing arts funding is approached on the same basis. City funding for the arts provides: 1) financial means for artists to create on a public scale; 2) the public platform to reach a large audience; 3) name recognition for the artist; 4) city-wide access/location; 5) improvement/graffiti abatement. In as far as what the Mayor can do, that is a question more suited to a mayoral candidate. As a city council member, I look for art opportunities in my district to advocate for at the staff & council level.


As our City recovers from the pandemic, how will you ensure that the arts are part of the conversation regarding City planning, economic development, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives?

I touched on this in my answer to Question 2. One the most effect ways to ensure arts are not only part of the conversation, but actually plan and budget for public art opportunities at the beginning of the process. The arts community should also look ahead to secure grants in these categories so that when project opportunities materialize, the coincide / align with public funding.


Tell us about the visual and/or performing arts in your Council District. What are you most proud of? What needs help to grow? In District 2, we have much to be proud of: 1) Artes de la Rosa at Rose Marine Theater; 2) Ballet Folklorico of Fort Worth, Inc.; 3) The Saenz Performing Arts Center; 4) Cowtown Opry; 5) New Isis Theater; 6) John Wayne Museum; 7) Stockyards Museum; 8) Texas Legends Historical Reenactments. In addition, we have new murals in our central city locations: a) Selena Mural on N. Main Street; b) Northside Community Center Murals; c) Mariachi Mural at Franko’s Market; d) Northside TexRail Station Art; e) NW24th & Lee Mural-Graffiti Abatement; f) NW20th Street Retaining Wall Mural. I would like to see more funding for community arts that go hand-in-hand with city beautification efforts.


Theodore O. Gray

In a few short sentences, tell us about yourself and your relationship to the visual and/or performing arts.

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.


How would you work to increase the City’s investment in the arts industry to meet growing needs and bring our funding in line with other major cities in Texas?

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.


Please share your thoughts on how the arts can help our City lift up diverse voices, close opportunity gaps, and how can Fort Worth’s mayor help this grow?

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.


As our City recovers from the pandemic, how will you ensure that the arts are part of the conversation regarding City planning, economic development, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives?

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.


Tell us about the visual and/or performing arts in your Council District. What are you most proud of? What needs help to grow? Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.


Jennifer Sarduy

In a few short sentences, tell us about yourself and your relationship to the visual and/or performing arts.

I’m Jen Sarduy and I am running for City Council because I believe in my community’s ability to thrive when we have equitable access to resources. I love the visual and performing arts and my family and I have a tradition of painting together and supporting local artists. I am currently serving on the Trail Driver’s Park Advisory Committee Fort Worth Public Art Selection Panel, where I prioritize the importance of working with artists from the local community. I am also lucky to have several talented artists working with my campaign — local linocut artists, graphic designers, videographers, and musicians have shared their work to reach the people with political art that leaves an impression.


How would you work to increase the City’s investment in the arts industry to meet growing needs and bring our funding in line with other major cities in Texas?

People need spaces to do art and people need art in our spaces. Of course $1.9 million is not enough public funding for the arts. Especially not while the Fort Worth’s leaders are investing 82 percent of our city’s General Fund on the criminal legal system. We spend nearly $1 million per day on policing, in comparison, and yet investing in the arts is a matter of public safety and supporting healthy communities. Art is so useful in our society — it contributes to our mental health and creating welcoming community spaces. We have so many resources in our city and I commit to community participation in the investment and distribution of those resources, including increasing public funding for art and considering empty public buildings and land for developing new spaces for artists to learn, work and thrive.


Please share your thoughts on how the arts can help our City lift up diverse voices, close opportunity gaps, and how can Fort Worth’s mayor help this grow?

At the center of my campaign is community involvement and radical participation in decisions of policy, spending, and development. That means we need to listen to people when they tell us what they need and not layer our strategies over those requests. I would like to form a public art working group centering Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGB TGNC+, disabled, and unhoused local artists and community members to determine a path forward that prioritizes people-first policies and invests our resources where they make a big difference.


As our City recovers from the pandemic, how will you ensure that the arts are part of the conversation regarding City planning, economic development, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives?

Creating or experiencing art in meaningful ways can support healing in community with one another. Art can help us find and keep our joy. While we continue to survive and struggle against the health and economic impacts of COVID, our communities need healing and connection. We know that arts education can make young people more likely to succeed academically, support a sense of accomplishment and understanding of oneself. Art can also encourage our imaginations — and if we are going to find creative, new solutions to the issues facing the people of this city, we are going to need active, innovative, and compassionate hearts and minds to get there. I believe in the transformative power of the arts and I would explore more public funding for arts education and youth art programming, as well as programming that can make art more accessible for people who may struggle against barriers today. I’m inspired by programs that create opportunities for “art beyond bars” for currently and formerly incarcerated, arts programming for unhoused people, people in long-term hospitalization or hospice, etc. I would love to see arts programming in Fort Worth move us toward healing together — toward conversations and revelations that can change us.


Tell us about the visual and/or performing arts in your Council District. What are you most proud of? What needs help to grow? I am so proud of SOL Ballet Folklorico, Third Space DFW, Artes de la Rosa, and local public art created by students (like the Diamond Hill Jarvis High School murals). I love the Northside Community Group because it is so full of appreciation for local art. I think we need more opportunities for public art development in Northside and Diamond Hill and more developed public and green spaces for artists and creatives to work on building a more beautiful, equitable, and resourced city together.


Juan Sixtos

In a few short sentences, tell us about yourself and your relationship to the visual and/or performing arts.

I am a Latino Fort Worth native, a proud Texan and a proud American with a keen interest in civic duty. I am a Christian family man and an engineer in the software industry.

I am an avid concertgoer, I’ve taken a course in technical theater (which included building stages, setting up audio/video equipment, and setting up lighting and other effects), I’ve worked in the capacity of an usher/host/cashier at a local movie theater, and over the years, I’ve painted, built sculptures, built marionettes, written poetry, and I’ve drawn.


How would you work to increase the City’s investment in the arts industry to meet growing needs and bring our funding in line with other major cities in Texas?

I would need to first work on cutting unnecessary and wasteful spending from Fort Worth’s budget, and because this area is not a field that I am an expert on, I would invite the arts community of Fort Worth to the conversation. Then, after conversation with the arts community, research, and collaboration amongst my peers, I’d able to determine how much funding Fort Worth should invest in the arts industry.


Please share your thoughts on how the arts can help our City lift up diverse voices, close opportunity gaps, and how can Fort Worth’s mayor help this grow?

I believe the arts can help show just how diverse we are as a city. Arts from various cultural backgrounds are all unique, and everyone should have a voice in art. The mayor has the strongest voice in the city, and can certainly use that voice to encourage our city to participate in cultural arts.


As our City recovers from the pandemic, how will you ensure that the arts are part of the conversation regarding City planning, economic development, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives?

It should be noted that the arts can help the city recover from the pandemic by bringing in dollars in addition to acting as a natural stress relief that the citizens of Fort Worth are in such dire need of after the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, I would invite the arts community of Fort Worth to the conversation. Overall, we need to ensure that the city’s most imperative operations are being properly funded and make careful decisions in terms of other budgetary items.


Tell us about the visual and/or performing arts in your Council District. What are you most proud of? What needs help to grow? There are many varieties of art to choose from in District 2, including but not limited to:

The Stockyard Station Gallery, the Stockyards Museum, the Roger Barritt Western Gallery, the National Multicultural Heritage Museum, the Roy Gordon Art gallery, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center For The Arts, the River Ranch Stockyards, the TCC Northwest Lakeview Gallery, the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, the soon to be reopened Isis Theatre, and Billy Bob’s Texas.

I am most proud of our western culture and performing arts that we have in the district. In terms of growth in the district, I believe we are right on track for visual and performing arts.



Phone 817-392-8802 Fax 817-392-6187 Email District2@fortworthtexas.gov

District 2 Office 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, 76102


Learn more about District 2



Are you registered to vote? Register or verify here!


Where will you vote? Find your polling place here!


Important Dates

Thursday, April 1

Last day to register to vote

Monday, April 19

First day of in-person early voting

Tuesday, April 20

Last day to request a ballot by mail (received by, not postmarked)

Tuesday, April 27

Last day of in-person early voting

Saturday, May 1

Election Day

Last day ballot by mail must be received by 7 p.m.

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